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Made handmade bike show: 9 of the best bikes

Cofidis' Spanish rider Ion Izaguirre Insausti cycles in a lone breakaway in the final ascent of the Col de la Croix Rosier during the 12th stage of the 110th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 169 km between Roanne and Belleville-en-Beaujolais, in central-eastern France, on July 13, 2023. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

When you take a look at the best road bikes available, or the best gravel bikes for that matter, there’s been a trend happening for the last few years. At the top end especially, prices have been on the rise. The brands will tell you that it’s not a sea change so much as a willingness to also offer an even more expensive option. I’m not sure that’s true though. As with anything, as you start to push the ceiling up, there’s more room underneath. Mid-range bikes have been pushing up in price also.

The danger for those same big brands who are willing to push up prices is the small builder. An artisan can execute a shared vision for a bike like no one else, but small-scale production always costs more than production at scale and in the past, it might have felt impossible to consider a small builder due to this. Right now though, the big brands are pushing up in price and interestingly, small builders are pushing down.

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